Shipping charges – ugh. They are expensive and we all hate to deal with them. Here are some strategies that remove shipping as a barrier to making a purchase.
Since shipping can cause such frustration, head off problems by including costs for shipping charges right into your pricing formula. Then, either offer free shipping, or relatively inexpensive shipping for heavier items. How can you absorb this? By adding value to your work. Here are some techniques that increase perceived value:
- Beautiful packaging and presentation that create a high-end look
- Adding more functions to your work (ex: wearable art that can hang as a wall piece; greeting cards that pop into a mat and frame)
- Small details done beautifully (ex: gorgeous fabric used inside a pocket, wise quotes written on the bottom of a pot)
- Adding extras to the purchase, such as a Certificate of Authenticity, your story or bio on signage, a hang tag or enclosed sheet that comes with the artwork
Want more ideas? Check out this article.
Carefully calculate your wholesale price including added costs for shipping. Then, take shipping off the table in your offer:
– Use free shipping as an incentive at a trade show. Many exhibitors offer “show specials” and free shipping is understandably very popular. And, it tends to be valued more than a percentage off special.
– Offer free shipping as a “limited time” special to retail or wholesale customers. Encourage sales by offering to ship at no cost, capturing sales from people who are on the fence. Limited time offers shouldn’t be extended too far into the future; use them to create a sense of urgency. When your deadline is up, charge for shipping again.
– When shipping orders, include a coupon for free shipping on the next order. And, include another free shipping coupon “for a friend” to encourage referral sales.
– Use free shipping as a bargaining chip when negotiating with your best wholesale customers on committing to increase their buy from you this year. If your work is selling well, you offer collections that the store doesn’t currently carry, or if the customer wants exclusivity, start discussing a larger presence in their store. Every relationship runs both ways. They may promise a big increase in their purchase orders, and you might include free or reduced-cost shipping.
How have you dealt with shipping charges and objections to them in your own business?